Kelly Applauds President’s Decision to Withdraw United States from the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Apr 26, 2019 Issues: Foreign Affairs and Defense

Washington, D.C. – Following the announcement by President Donald Trump that the United States will leave the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) released the following statement:

President Trump has once again demonstrated his commitment to the safety and security of America and its allies by withdrawing from the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. I requested that he consider withdrawing in March 2018, and I am pleased that he decided to do so. I have long-been concerned that this treaty does not expressly recognize the fundamental right of individuals to keep and bear arms, and that it hinders the U.S. from fulfilling its commitment to key allies such as Taiwan and the State of Israel. These two factors, among others, are particularly problematic when considering the United States is consistently asked to pay far more to administer this treaty than any other participating nation. Why should the United States participate in and pay for a treaty that neglects the fundamental rights of its citizens, threatens its defense industrial base, and treats its right to transfer arms on an equal footing with totalitarian regimes?

President Obama signed the ATT in September 2013.  The United States has not significantly contributed to the treaty because Congress has repeatedly passed legislation that makes funding contingent on ratification by the Senate, which did not occur. Kelly has consistently opposed the ATT as written and agreed to by the Obama Administration, and is grateful that President Trump has asked the Senate to end the ratification process.

It was bill language written by Kelly that prevented the funding. His leadership on the issue is most recently outlined in letters to the House Appropriations Committee and President Trump in March 2018.

Kelly letter to House Appropriators

Kelly/Moran letter to President Trump